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Cunningham’s three TD passes key Nederland’s rout of Santa Fe

SANTA FE — Sound fundamentally and efficient when it needed to be, Nederland never gave Santa Fe much of a chance.

The Bulldogs (2-2, 1-1 in district) parlayed a methodical, gashing offensive game plan into a 21-point halftime lead and then polished off the host Indians for a 38-7 District 12-5A-II victory on Friday night.

Matthew Bentley, Santa Fe’s head coach, offered a post-game message to his squad which was clear and concise.

“This isn’t the last game of the year. We’re halfway through. We have five more games left,” said Bentley, whose club fell to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in district play. “We’ve got good teams to play. We have a lot of things to clean up and everything we have to clean up is fixable.”

Santa Fe found success off-and-on, but never could sustain a possession. By the time Kyeler Thompson found Trever Trexler for a 17-yard touchdown pass with 41 seconds left in the contest, the outcome had already been long decided.

And when the Indians did pin the Bulldogs deep in their territory, the visitors easily dug out.

When Nederland, leading 7-0, started from its 4-yard line late in the first period, it carved out an 11-play drive with quarterback Rene Cunningham dropping a perfect 30-yard TD pass to Kyndon Fuselier to make it 14-0.

Cunningham finished the half with three scoring passes and was 8-of-10 for 137 yards for the game.

Nederland amassed 335 total yards to 186 for Santa Fe, which fumbled and had a field goal blocked in the first half.

When Cunningham wasn’t finding open receivers, shifty halfback Josh Mazyck was slicing through the Indians defense for 111 yards, including an 18-yard burst late in the third period.

“Nederland is a good football team. Adversity is something we have to learn to overcome,” said Bentley.

— By Bill Beck, Galveston County Daily News